Lorde celebrates success with 'first fans'

KASHKA TUNSTALL
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014

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"This is where it all started."

New Zealand's golden girl stood on stage back home in Auckland, in front of nearly 10,000 fans last night.

There, Ella Yelich-O'Connor aka Lorde found herself nostalgic and lyrical about the last year of her life.

And of course, the last couple of days.

"I'm sorry for swearing, but I f****** won two Grammys!"

Just 48 hours after the awards show that saw her pitted, and come up triumphant, against the likes of Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, Lorde made up for her absence from the Laneway festival with an almost-sold out solo show at Auckland's Silo Park.

It was a love letter performance, a sweet exchange between a nation infatuated with the coolest kid on the block, and a superstar giving a nod to the first fans, the ones who watched her rise.

Only four months ago, Lorde played for 5000 fans in a free show at the Vector Arena.

Her first big headlining show, it was a good night. It proved the 17-year-old was the real deal live.

But the transformation from Lorde on stage then and Lorde on stage now borders on metamorphic.

Just like at the Vector, Lorde opened with The Love Club EP track 'Bravado' last night.

The difference was palpable. 

Yes, she's older (slightly) but she's also become so much more confident in her performance, in the unique way she delivers her music, unapologetic as her body is possessed by the beat.

She looks more comfortable on stage now, like she's enjoying the experience even more. And her voice has matured too. It was almost unbelievable that she was singing live.

It was wicked to see the girl's still taking risks, covering James Blake track 'Retrograde' and Son Lux song 'Easy' in the set. 

And she delivered in covering off most of her debut album Pure Heroine for a crowd that seemed to know every word.

She enlisted the audience to dance along to track 'Team', and gave a nod to the history of 'Ribs', a song she penned on the day of last year's Laneway festival.

'Royals', song of the year and the one that started it all, was a pretty special moment.

Euphoric melody rose into the darkening Auckland city skyline as the 10,000 audience members recited every word alongside its author.

White glow sticks, distributed to the crowd before the show, hung above the mass, swaying back and forth in clutched hands.

"Let me be your ruler/You can call me queen Bee/And baby I'll rule/Let me live that fantasy," Yelich-O'Connor sung out

As the song came to a finish, glow sticks sailed through the sky onto stage, pummeling the songstress in a bizarre but fitting salute to her success.

The self-proclaimed weirdo seemed pretty pleased with the gesture.

It's still strange to hear her sing the lyrics that propelled, and foreshadowed, her meteoric rise.

"We're bigger than we ever dreamed/and I'm in love with being queen," she croons in 'Royals'.

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And in the track that closed the show - 'A World Alone', more foreshadowing.

First the repeated refrain: "People are talking, people are talking."

Then, in the final words of her album, the final words of the night and fitting words of advice for the predicament of fame Yelich-O'Connor finds herself:

"Let them talk."

- Fairfax Media

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